Pfeiffer tennis coach resigns

Published 3:59 pm Thursday, July 30, 2020

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Pfeiffer University alumnus Kent Whitener, who led the Falcon men’s and women’s tennis programs since 2015, has resigned to become the head coach at Catawba College in Salisbury.

Whitener, a 2005 graduate, guided the Falcon men’s program to a Conference Carolinas finals appearance in 2015-16, earning Coach of the Year honors. During Pfeiffer’s transition to NCAA Division III play, Whitener’s men’s team captured the ECAC Division III championship in the spring of 2018.

“Kent was a tremendous asset to Pfeiffer and our men’s and women’s tennis programs,” said Pfeiffer Director of Athletics Danielle Lafferty. “He has a rich history with Pfeiffer as both a successful tennis student-athlete and coach and has created a culture that we know will continue on in breeding successful and well-rounded tennis student-athletes on our campus. His love for Pfeiffer and the program will be difficult to match as we search for the next leader of our tennis program. We wish him nothing but great success in this next chapter of this coaching career.”

His Pfeiffer women’s teams also enjoyed success, with his 2016 team advancing to the Conference Carolinas semifinals. He also had several players earn all-conference accolades including one Player of the Year award winner.

During his playing days with the Falcons, Whitener was a top-10 ranked player during his junior season. That year, he played at the No. 1 spot and was tabbed the team MVP.

Following his playing career, he worked at the Van Der Meer World Class Academy in Hilton Head, S.C. While there, Whitener worked with several national ranked juniors that went on to compete at the highest Division I levels.

In 2009, he became the Director of Tennis at the Rockbridge Club in Columbia, S.C., where he stayed until taking over the reins of the Pfeiffer programs. During his time at the private club, he led all areas of tennis from large adult and junior tournaments to the highest level of college tennis.

“It has been an honor to work with the amazing student athletes of the Pfeiffer men’s and women’s tennis program,” said Whitener. “Each player has given their best effort to represent the tennis program to the highest level and will only be more successful as they continue going forward.

“Working with President (Scott) Bullard, Danielle Lafferty, fellow coaches, athletic trainers and other athletics staff has been a privilege. Each are class acts and my appreciation goes to all for their dependability, expertise and professionalism,” he added. “In addition, I’d like to thank the many donors that has helped support the Pfeiffer tennis program over my tenure. The Knapp Family and many others contribute so much of their resources to keep the Pfeiffer tennis program great.”

The search for the next leader of the Pfeiffer men’s and women’s tennis program is underway.